«Israel» Police Order Extra Protection for Bibi Prosecutors
By Staff, Agencies
“Israeli” police on Sunday ordered additional protection for two lead prosecutors involved in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption investigations, Channel 13 news reported.
Police ordered the added security for State Attorney Shai Nitzan and lead prosecutor Liat Ben-Ari, both of whom were named specifically by Netanyahu in his scathing response to Thursday's indictment announcement.
The decision follows a review with security officials of possible threats against the prosecutors after last week Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s announcement that he plans to indict Netanyahu in three corruption cases.
Mandelblit’s announcement was immediately and continues to be met with vitriolic attacks by Netanyahu and his Likud party.
In his televised response to the move, Netanyahu accused Nitzan and Ben-Ari of being “the two prosecutors who pushed especially hard to indict me.”
Nitzan has since responded to Netanyahu’s attacks against the investigations, which the premier has repeatedly dismissed as a political witch-hunt, and insisted there was no political motivation.
“There is no basis for these claims,” Nitzan said Sunday at a conference at Haifa University. “The decisions were made solely out of professional considerations based on the evidence. The question of a suspect’s political identity doesn’t interest us and will never be considered by us.”
Nitzan also spoke out in defense of Ben-Ari, classifying the lead prosecutor as “a consummate professional who has dedicated the best years of her life to the fight against corruption.”
Netanyahu and his Likud party have also fought back against the timing of the announcement, which came just 40 days before the April 9 elections, calling the move “political persecution.”
"Unilateral publication of the attorney general's announcement just a month before the elections, without giving the prime minister an opportunity to refute these false accusations, is a blatant and unprecedented intervention in the elections," the right-wing party said.
Nitzan also dismissed these accusations, stressing that the timetable for the decision was determined before Netanyahu called for early elections in December.
“If a case is ripe for a decision, there is no reason to wait to publish it only because of upcoming elections,” he said. “The public’s right to know and other legal principles require [we] act in such a way,” the attorney insisted.